Climate Newsletter 30 Sep 2018

It was quite a demonstration down at Tathra today with several hundred people making the words KEEP TATHRA COOL, DECREASE CO2, CLIMATE ACTION NOW. Rural Fire Service trucks provided the downward arrow for ‘decrease’. It was great that they were there because of the recent bushfires, evidence of which was all around us. Former PM Malcolm Turnbull had denied there was any connection with climate change but local councillor Jo Dodds has been very vocal in claiming there was indeed a connection.

Climate Action Monaro is part of Repower Monaro which is encouraging every candidate in the state seat of Monaro to promote renewables and not fossil fuels in the lead up to the NSW state election on March 23 next year. As part of the action, we are holding a demonstration in Queanbeyan on Friday (5 October) starting 4.30pm which will start in Crawford Street outside sitting member John Barilaro’s office (not far in from the main street) then head to the Council offices. Join us if you can. Barilaro has been a promoter of coal and nuclear while in office but we are hoping to persuade him to take a different tack.

Seems but yesterday – in fact ten years – since Ross Garnaut issued his long-awaited Climate Change Review. Although it led to the short-lived carbon tax under the Gillard Government, nevertheless, the last decade has seen a climate and energy policy mess. If we had adopted all his recommendations back then, albeit not as radical as some us would like, we would be in a better place now.

In a case of cynical timing, the new federal Minister for Environment, Melissa Price, on Friday afternoon – a public holiday in Victoria and the day the interim report of the banking commission was issued – released a report that showed emissions climbed 1.3% in the year to March 2018. At this rate, we will not meet our Paris targets “at a canter” as the new Prime Minister insists, but “gallop past them” as Bill Hare of Climate Analytics rather wonderfully noted.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting this coming week in Incheon, South Korea, to consider the Special Report Global Warming of 1.5ºC. Subject to approval, the Summary for Policymakers will be released on Monday 8 October. There have been reports that the Summary has been watered down to appease such governments as the US and Australia, though the text has not. Some climate activists here argue vehemently that even 1.5 degrees warming over industrial levels will be too much and see not only the end of the Great Barrier Reef, but inundation of Pacific atolls and the major food-producing deltas of the world.

Don’t despair! There is some good news, for instance, a solar-powered abattoir for Central Queensland; the development of a solar-flow battery; the commercialisation of (new, efficient) perovskite solar cells; a new stable catalyst for splitting water to produce hydrogen (which can then be used as a clean fuel); and the splendid Australia Institute launching an advertising campaign to debunk the assertion of the Business Council that a 45% target for emissions reduction would wreck the economy.

Newsletter from Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro

‘Policy muddle’, but Ross Garnaut holds high hopes 10 years after his Climate Change Review

The 2008 landmark report could not have predicted Australia’s climate policy mess, but some outcomes have turned out much better than forecast

Australia plays catch-up on climate policy

In their song Time, Pink Floyd sing: “Then one day you find that 10 years have got behind you / no one told you when to run / you missed the starting gun.” It might be said that the starting gun was fired by Ross Garnaut, who 10 years ago today delivered the Garnaut Climate Change Review for the Rudd government.

Solar-powered abattoir plan approved for central Queensland

The Queensland Government has given the nod to a plan to build an abattoir in Gladstone that will be powered by its own renewable energy facility.

2018 Arctic Summertime Sea Ice Minimum Extent Tied for Sixth Lowest on Record

Arctic sea ice likely reached its 2018 lowest extent on Sept. 19 and again on Sept. 23, 2018.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions climb again amid climate policy vacuum

Climate Analytics says that on current trends, emissions will race way past the Paris agreement target

Device that integrates solar cell and battery could store electricity outside the grid

Scientists have harnessed the abilities of both a solar cell and a battery in one device — a ‘solar flow battery’ that soaks up sunlight and efficiently stores it as chemical energy for later on-demand use. Their research could make electricity more accessible in remote regions of the world.

New, highly stable catalyst may help turn water into fuel

Breaking the bonds between oxygen and hydrogen in water could be a key to the creation of hydrogen in a sustainable manner, but finding an economically viable technique for this has proved difficult. Researchers report a new hydrogen-generating catalyst that clears many of the obstacles — abundance, stability in acid conditions and efficiency.

Perovskite solar cells leap toward commercialization

OIST scientists’ research on perovskite solar cells indicates a promising future towards sustainability.

Business council faces negative ad blitz over criticism of 45% emissions target

Australia Institute will launch advertising campaign debunking assertion that 45% target would wreck economy

When we look at the crisis rationally, the only logical response is to declare a climate emergency

People engaged in the climate debate are often bewildered by society’s lack of response. How can we ignore such overwhelming evidence of an existential threat to social and economic stability?

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